2000 – January 3rd, Argentina issues its annual statement; “On 3 January 1833, British forces occupied the Malvinas Islands, expelling their inhabitants and the Argentine authorities established there. .. today marks the 167th anniversary of that illegitimate occupation,..”
January 11th, Argentina refuses to allow the Falkland Islands registered yacht, Golden Fleece, to dock in Argentine ports. The owners are told that British registry in the Falklands, South Sandwich Islands and South Georgia is no longer being recognised by Argentina.
In March, Defence Secretary Geoffrey Hoon visits the Falkland Islands.
March 14th, the Supreme Court in Buenos Aires, adjudicating a case seeking to indict Margaret Thatcher for war crimes over the sinking of the ARA Belgrano, rules that the act, if illegal, cannot be prosecuted in Argentina.
March 23rd, the British representative at the UN rejects Argentina release of January 3rd.
Private flights between Argentina and the Falklands are permitted under an Exchange of Letters.
In June, unable to take action in Argentina, a group of lawyers representing relatives of those who died aboard the Belgrano announce that they will launch a case for damages at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
June 15th, the South Atlantic Fisheries Commission meets in London.
July 11th, the Special Committee consider the question of Falklands’ decolonization at its meeting in New York. Petitioners include Sharon Halford and Richard Cockwell representing the Falkland Islands Government; Guillermo Clifton, Alejandro Betts and Alejandro Vernet. Argentina’s Foreign Minister also restates his country’s claim to the archipelago.
As in previous years, the Special Committee adopt a draft-Resolution presented by Chile without taking a vote.
“In statements after the adoption of the resolution, the representative of Grenada urged the parties to press on for the eventual successful resolution of the dispute. The right of self-determination was reserved for the inhabitants of the Territory, who were the only and final arbiters of their future destiny. The representative of Antigua and Barbuda stated that the current discussion had dealt with sovereignty and not decolonization, which was the real subject matter of the Committee. The job of the Committee was not to determine who should govern a Territory, but to ensure that the options chosen by the inhabitants were followed. It was encouraging that Argentina and the United Kingdom, in recent discussions, had made progress on matters related to the welfare of the people of the Islands. The representative of Sierra Leone stated that it was important for the resolution to express interest in the self-determination of the population of the Islands and added that there was no substitute for self-determination in matters of decolonization.”
July 12th, Minister John Battle speaks to the Falkland Islands Forum in London; “ … Self-determination was one of the best and most popular ideas of the twentieth century. With the entry into force in 1976 of the International Human Rights Covenants, self-determination gained the force of international law as a fundamental, collective human right….”
July 19th, the Belgrano case is dismissed at the Hague, being ‘out of time’.
July 27th, at a meeting of the Southwest Atlantic Hydrocarbon Commission, the two sides acknowledge; “ .. that there were differing interpretations of the area to which the understanding applied, and agreed that it would be appropriate to reflect on the issue and on the best way to conduct future cooperation.”
October 5th, Argentina complains that Britain is acting unilaterally by issuing oil exploration licences.
September 21st, at the UN, Argentina’s Foreign Minister reiterates his country’s claim to the Falkland Islands before the General Assembly. In response, the British representative states; “.. We have no doubt about Britain’s sovereignty over the Falkland Islands and the other British dependencies in the South Atlantic. Moreover, we have a duty to respect the right to self-determination of the people of the Falkland Islands, who have made clear their wish to remain British. The elected representatives of the Islanders expressed their views clearly when they visited the United Nations for the debate in the Committee of 24 on 11 July this year. They asked the Committee to recognize that they, like any other democratic people, should be allowed to exercise the right of self-determination. As the democratic voice of the Falkland Islands people, they reiterated their view that they did not want to be part of Argentina…”
November 20th, the General Assembly defers the question of the Falkland Islands for another year.
November 30th, the South Atlantic Fisheries Commission meets in Buenos Aires.
2001 – January 3rd, a communique is forwarded to the United Nations from Argentina regarding; “ .. another anniversary of the illegitimate British occupation of the Malvinas Islands.”
January 29th, UN Resolution 55/147; ” .. 1. Reaffirms its resolution 1514 (XV) and all other resolutions and decisions on decolonization, including its resolution 55/146, in which it declares the period 2001–2010 the Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism, and calls upon the administering Powers, in accordance with those resolutions, to take all necessary steps to enable the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories concerned to exercise fully as soon as possible their right to self-determination, including independence; … 5. Affirms once again its support for the aspirations of the peoples under colonial rule to exercise their right to self-determination, including independence, …”
In February, the British Minister for the Overseas Territories, Baroness Patricia Scotland, visits the Falklands.
March 1st, in a message to the inaugural meeting of the Legislative Assembly of Argentina, President Fernando de la Rúa says; “…we shall continue to work in order to reach further provisional understandings under the formula of sovereignty with the United Kingdom in the South Atlantic. …”
March 19th, the United Kingdom rejects as unfounded any sovereignty claims by Argentina.
On April 7th, a population census reveals that there are 2955 people on the Islands, including 534 people present in connection with the military garrison, but excluding military personnel and their families.
June 14th, the South Atlantic Fisheries Commission meets in London.
June 25th, delegations from Argentina and the UK meet in Buenos Aires under the sovereignty-umbrella to exchange views; “ .. on coordinating preparatory activities for their presentations before the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, established by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Both delegations shared information about their planned activities with regard to the external boundary of the continental shelf in the area of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.”
June 29th, the Special Committee on Decolonization meet to consider the Falkland Islands. Representatives of the Falkland Islands Legislative Council address the Committee and express their wish to exercise the right of self-determination enshrined in the UN Charter. Other speakers include Alejandro Betts and Alejandro Vernet.
Argentina’s Foreign Minister tells the Committee that; “… The Malvinas Islands, which have been an integral part of the territory of Argentina ever since it became independent, were occupied in 1833 by British military forces, which expelled by force the Argentine population and military authorities who had settled there, preventing them from returning. In their stead, British subjects were brought to the South Atlantic to populate the islands as a colony. These acts of force, … have never been consented to by the Argentine Republic, which has never ceased to demand its restitution. …”
The Committee adopt, by consensus, Chile’s draft-Resolution calling for renewed sovereignty negotiations.
“ … following the adoption of the resolution, the representative of Papua New Guinea made a statement in explanation of position in which he said that the Committee must ask and answer three questions with regard to the item: what was the Committee’s mandate, did the mandate include adjudication of competing sovereignty claims, and, if not, could the Committee devise a solution without dealing with the sovereignty claims? …. The representative of Sierra Leone stated that the interests of the people were paramount and that the resolution should make reference to the important question of self-determination.”
The FIG publish its ‘Islands Plan’, which calls for, inter alia, the construction of a deep water port.
In August, the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, makes a brief visit to Argentina after meetings in Brazil.
October 12th, at the Fourth Committee’s consideration of the work of the Special Committee, Argentina’s representative, anticipating Britain’s response, tells the meeting that his country has; “ .. no doubts as to its right to sovereignty over the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, the South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas,..”
October 23rd, the ICJ deliver its judgement in the case concerning sovereignty between Pulau Ligitan and Pulau Sipadan (Indonesia/Malaysia) where the Philippines had applied to intervene. The separate opinion of Judge Franke includes his view that; “ ..historic title, no matter how persuasively claimed on the basis of old legal instruments and exercises of authority, cannot – except in the most extraordinary circumstances – prevail in law over the rights of non-self-governing people to claim independence and establish their sovereignty through the exercise of bona fide self-determination.”
October 29th, Argentina protests Britain’s designation of the Falklands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands as British Overseas Territories – alleging that it is an attempt to; “…introduce unilateral changes in that situation while the sovereignty dispute was still unresolved.”
November 10th, at the UN, President Fernando de Rúa of Argentina, gives a speech recalling; “.. the repeated United Nations requests for Argentina and the United Kingdom to resume negotiations on a just and lasting solution to the sovereignty dispute.”
Exercising its right of reply, the UK responds that Britain has; “.. a duty to respect and defend the right to self-determination of the people of the Falkland Islands.”
November 19th, Argentina and the UK agree to carry out a feasibility study on the clearance of land mines.
November 22nd, elections are held for the Falkland Islands Legislative Council.
November 26th, the General Assembly defer the question of the Falkland Islands for another year.
November 29th, Argentina informs the UN that it rejects Britain’s White Paper on Partnership for Peace and Prosperity: Britain and the Overseas Territories insofar as it concerns the Falkland islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
On the same day, the South Atlantic Fisheries Commission meets in Buenos Aires.
December 3rd, a joint working group holds a meeting in Buenos Aires to discuss de-mining; “ At the meeting the general objectives of the studies were discussed as well as their technical, organizational and financial aspects. Some practical measures and tasks were agreed that would be carried out with a view to advancing the preparation of the study.”
December 21st, PM Tony Blair tells the Islanders; “ .. Differences remain as we continue to make clear that sovereignty over the Falklands is not open to negotiation. Our position is unchanged:…”
2002 – Argentina reiterates its annual commitment to the recovery of the Islands.
January 21st, the UK rejects Argentina’s claims as “unfounded.”
January 29th, responding to a request from the Security Council, the Under-Secretary General for Legal Affairs, Hans Corell, provides a legal opinion regarding the exploitation of mineral resources withing Non-Self-Governing Territories; “ … The legal regime applicable to Non-Self-Governing Territories was further developed in the practice of the United Nations and, more specifically, in the Special Committee and the General Assembly. Resolutions of the General Assembly adopted under the agenda item entitled “Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples” called upon the administering Powers to ensure that all economic activities in the Non-Self-Governing Territories under their administration did not adversely affect the interests of the peoples of such Territories, but were instead directed towards assisting them in the exercise of their right to self-determination. The Assembly also consistently urged the administering Powers to safeguard and guarantee the inalienable rights of the peoples of those Territories to their natural resources, and to establish and maintain control over the future development of those resources (resolutions 35/118 of 11 December 1980, 52/78 of 10 December 1997, 54/91 of 6 December 1999, 55/147 of 8 December 2000 and 56/74 of 10 December 2001)…. the General Assembly, in its resolution 50/33 of 6 December 1995, drew a distinction between economic activities that are detrimental to the peoples of these Territories and those directed to benefit them. In paragraph 2 of that resolution, the General Assembly affirmed “the value of foreign economic investment undertaken in collaboration with the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories and in accordance with their wishes in order to make a valid contribution to the socio-economic development of the Territories”. This position has been affirmed by the General Assembly in later resolutions (resolutions 52/72 of 10 December 1997, 53/61 of 3 December 1998, 54/84 of 6 December 1999, 55/138 of 8 December 2000 and 56/66 of 10 December 2001)…. In recognizing the inalienable rights of the peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories to the natural resources in their territories, the General Assembly has consistently condemned the exploitation and plundering of natural resources and any economic activities which are detrimental to the interests of the peoples of those Territories and deprive them of their legitimate rights over their natural resources. The Assembly recognized, however, the value of economic activities which are undertaken in accordance with the wishes of the peoples of those Territories, and their contribution to the development of such Territories.”
February 26th, the British Overseas Territories Act comes into force, renaming the remaining British Dependent Territories and, via Section 3(1), conferring British citizenship on the citizens of the overseas territories.
March 7th, the FIG approves the plan for a memorial at the Argentine cemetery in Darwin.
March 11th, Defence Secretary Geoffrey Hoon visits the Falklands before moving on to Buenos Aires.
March 21st, the South Atlantic Fisheries Commission meets in London.
April 2nd, President Eduardo Duhalde marks the 20th anniversary of Argentina’s invasion of the Falkland Islands with a speech in Tierra del Fuego, where he asserts; “The Malvinas are ours and we are going to get them back.”
June 14th, on the 20th anniversary of Argentina’s surrender, the British Armed Forces are granted the Freedom of the Falkland Islands; accepted by Commodore R. J. Ibbotson, and witnessed by Adam Ingram MP.
June 19th, at the UN, the Special Committee considers Falklands decolonization; hearing petitioners on behalf of the FIG and Argentina.
As in previous years, Chile introduces a draft-Resolution calling for a resumption of sovereignty negotiations.
Speaking to the Committee, Argentina’s Foreign Minister says; “ … the General Assembly, in its resolution 2065 (XX), recognized that a colonial situation existed on the Malvinas Islands and recommended that it should be brought to an end in a manner that would reconcile respect for the territorial integrity of the Argentine Republic with recognition of the interests of the inhabitants of the islands. … Notwithstanding such pronouncements, the United Kingdom has not shown itself willing to resume dialogue on the substantive issue…”
During the debate; “.. The representative of Uruguay affirmed that the only grounds on which the United Kingdom laid claim to the Falkland Islands was by an act of force committed against a sovereign territory of Argentina. Legally, historically, geographically and geologically, the Islands were Argentinian.
All that remained was for both Governments to begin peaceful negotiations to normalize the situation, in accordance with resolutions of the General Assembly and the Organization of American States, for the benefit of all parties, including the inhabitants of the Islands. … The representative of Sierra Leone affirmed that colonialism in any form was incompatible with the Charter of the United Nations, reiterated that the islanders must be allowed to exercise their right to self-determination …. The representative of Papua New Guinea said that the issue was very delicate. While Argentina and the United Kingdom should resolve the sovereignty issue through constructive negotiations, it was essential that the opinion of the islanders about the future status of the Territory should be ascertained. …The representative of Antigua and Barbuda said that he was pleased to note that Argentina and the United Kingdom were cooperating with one another and ensuring the continued safety and development of the islanders. The Committee was the conduit through which the interests of the parties were served. He wished the islanders success in their endeavours…”
July 25th, the South Atlantic Fisheries Commission meets in Buenos Aires.
September 17th, in the General Assembly, Argentina’s Foreign Minister restates his country’s claim; “ .. over the Malvinas and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, as well as the surrounding maritime areas.”
Britain rejects Argentina’s claim and affirms that the Islanders have the right to determine their own future; “ .. We fully support the right of self-determination, as set out in paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the Charter of the United Nations and paragraph 4 of the United Nations Millennium Declaration, and we remain committed to the right of the people of the Falkland Islands to determine their own future.”
October 8th, at the UN, Argentina renews its rejection of the designation of the Falklands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands as British Overseas Territories, recalling that; “ .. in the special and particular colonial situation in the ‘Question of the Malvinas Islands’, the principle of territorial integrity is to be applied so as to prevent any attempt aimed at disrupting the national unity and territorial integrity of the Argentine Republic.”
In November, the Fisheries Commission meeting is postponed due to an Argentine labour dispute.
November 9th, Prince Andrew lays a wreath in the Argentine Military Cemetery at Darwin.
November 11th, the General Assembly defers the question of the Falkland Islands for another year.
December 19th, responding to Argentina’s rejection of October 8th, the permanent representative for the UK tells the UN that Britain has; “ ..no doubt about its sovereignty … The nomenclature applied to Overseas Territories … does not alter the status of those territories.”
2003 – January 3rd, Argentina issues its annual message on this; “ .. the latest anniversary of the illegal occupation of the Malvinas Islands by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.”
In April, Nestor Kirchner wins the Presidential election.
Argentina’s Education Ministry is ordered to consider the question of the Falkland Islands when forming its educational policies.
May 20th, the Special Committee’s decolonization seminar is held in the territory of Anguilla; the first time that it has been hosted by a British non-self governing territory.
June 10th, Argentina issues its annual press release; “.. the Argentine Nation commemorates the creation of the Political and Military Command for the Malvinas Islands and adjacent islands as far as Cape Horn in the Atlantic Ocean. … created in 1829… “
June 16th, the Special Committee commences its annual consideration of the Falkland islands decolonization question. Elected representatives from the Falkland Islands – Mike Summers and John Birmingham; “ .. again asked the Special Committee to recognize that they, like any other people, were entitled to exercise the right of self-determination…”
Alejandro Betts and James Douglas also make statements on behalf of Argentina.
Chile, on behalf of itself, Bolivia, Cuba and Venezuela, introduces a draft-Resolution; “The text emphasized the special colonial circumstances of the question of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) and stated that the only way to settle the issue between the Governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom was through negotiations..”
In his statement to the Committee, Argentina’s Foreign Minister, Rafael Bielsa, says; “ .. In his inaugural address, President Néstor Kirchner stressed that he comes from the South of Argentina, bringing with him the Malvinas culture and that he will unwaveringly sustain that policy. … It is unacceptable that the confrontation between an Argentine military Government and the United Kingdom be invoked by the latter in order to disregard the negotiation on sovereignty, which it had consented to and engaged in between 1966 and 1982, and thus disregarding the General Assembly’s resolutions. Some of the understandings under the formula on sovereignty reached since then between my country and the United Kingdom regarding practical aspects related to the South Atlantic have proved useful. … These understandings are not and shall not be considered either as an expression or as an acceptance of a status quo. At the same time, I would like to stress that my country has protested and will continue to protest British unilateral acts in the disputed area…”
“ .. The representative of the Dominican Republic, speaking as Acting Secretary of the Ibero-American Summit, said that his delegation supported a just and lasting settlement to the dispute and urged the parties to continue the peace talks, which could lead to a definitive, appropriate and realistic solution that reflected the legitimate aspirations referred to in the United Nations resolutions on the issue. The representative of Uruguay stated that the right to self-determination was not boundless and that it must be exercised on the basis of respect for the territorial integrity of States. …”
The Special Committee adopts the draft-Resolution without a vote.
“Speaking after the adoption of the resolution, the representative of Antigua and Barbuda said that the draft resolution did not refer to the principle of self-determination and there had been no mention of the three options in the course of the discussion. He noted with satisfaction the contacts between Argentina and the United Kingdom, but noted that the Committee should differentiate between self-determination and sovereignty since the Committee had no mandate to consider sovereignty issues. …. The representative of Papua New Guinea said that while his delegation had joined the consensus resolution, it had the same questions as the representatives of Antigua and Barbuda and Grenada regarding the Committee’s mandate.”
July 3rd, the South Atlantic Fisheries Commission meet in London.
July 10th, Argentine President Néstor Kirchner visits the UK. He tells the press; “ .. … during the conversation with the British Prime Minister, I reiterated the commitment of the Argentine people to the question of the sovereignty of the Malvinas Islands and that Argentina wishes urgently to resume negotiations …”
September 22nd, President Kirchner addresses the General Assembly; “We strongly advocate a peaceful settlement of international disputes, particularly in a matter as dear to our feelings and interests as the sovereignty dispute with regard to the Malvinas, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands and surrounding maritime areas. We value the role of the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization and express our fullest willingness to negotiate in order to conclusively settle this longstanding dispute. …”
September 30th, in reply, the UK reaffirms that it supported the Islanders’ right to self-determination.
October 6th, the Fourth Committee examines the work of the Special Committee on Decolonization.
“ .. the representative of the United Kingdom said that his Government welcomed the opportunity, as an administering Power, to bring the Committee’s attention to a number of significant developments that had taken place during the year. Following the adoption in 2002 of the British Overseas Territories Act, which granted all citizens of those Territories full British citizenship, the right of abode in the United Kingdom and freedom of movement within the European Union, over 14,000 passports had been issued by August 2003. …”
October 20th, in a letter to the Secretary-General; “ .. Argentina reiterated its rejection of the 1999 “White Paper on Partnership for Peace and Prosperity: Britain and the Overseas Territories” and the designation of the Malvinas, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands as British Overseas Territories, as well as any unilateral changes in the situation while the sovereignty dispute was unresolved. ..”
November 3rd, the Argentine government withdraws permission for charter flights to the Falklands, to over-fly Argentine airspace. Buenos Aires also demands that there should be negotiations on scheduled flights operating directly between Argentina and the Falklands, but state that they will not accept the presence of any Island representative to the talks. Britain’s response is brief: “The Falkland Islands Government is wholly opposed to any scheduled flights originating in Argentina or operated by Argentine carriers. The concern would be, based on past experience, that the Argentines could not be trusted not to heavily subsidise the flight, to such an extent that it made the LAN Chile flight no longer commercial and caused its withdrawal, following which we would have commercial scheduled flights only through Argentina. This of course is reminiscent of the situation in the 1970’s and is unacceptable.”
November 5th, the General Assembly defer the question of the Falkland Islands for another year.
November 11th, at the UN, Argentina complains that the Falkland Islanders’ who addressed the Special Committee in June, did so only; “ .. as petitioners, without the representative status claimed by the United Kingdom in its statement and rejected by Argentina.“
A UK postcode is given to the Falkland Islands – FIQQ 1ZZ
November 18th, in a letter to the President of the General Assembly, Argentina rejects the British assertion that the Falkland Islanders have the right to self-determination and; “ .. reaffirmed the need to apply the principle of territorial integrity to the special and particular colonial situation of the question of the Falkland Islands.”
December 5th, following press speculation, Argentina demands that the UK; “… should provide convincing assurances that there are no nuclear weapons, of any kind or under any circumstances in any part of the South Atlantic, including in sunken vessels and on the seabed …”
In Buenos Aires, the British Embassy makes a statement; “As categorically stated by ministers before Parliament in 1982, the use of nuclear weapons in the conflict was not considered at any point. During the cold war, British navy vessels were routinely equipped with nuclear depth charges to use against submarines. However, the United Kingdom always observed its international commitments, including those covered by the Treaty of Tlatelolco. We can confirm that no vessel equipped with nuclear weapons entered the territorial waters of Argentina or the Falkland Islands. … All weapons were accounted for and were in good condition when the fleet returned to the United Kingdom. No weapons were lost, and the British vessels that were sunk were not carrying nuclear weapons …”
December 8th, Argentina demands an apology from Britain for the presence of nuclear weapons in the South Atlantic during the 1982 Falklands War. Britain declines.
December 11th, the South Atlantic Fisheries Commission meet in Buenos Aires.
2004 – January 3rd, Argentina issues its annual press release; “ .. on the 171st anniversary of the illegal occupation of the Malvinas Islands by the United Kingdom.”
January 13th, the UK issues its annual rejection.
In March, aFugro Airborne Surveys aircraft contracted to work in the Islands, is refused permission to fly from Argentina, or to pass through Argentine airspace from Chile.
Almirante Irizar, an Argentine naval icebreaker, sails through the FICZ challenging fishing vessels by radio and demanding that they identify themselves. Britain registers a formal protest.
June 8th, Argentina formally protests what it asserts is an; “.. upgrading of the British military base in the Malvinas, as a violation of Assembly resolution 31/49, which called on the two parties to refrain from introducing unilateral modifications in the situation while the islands were going through the process recommended in relevant Assembly resolutions. ..”
June 18th, the Special Committee takes up Falklands decolonization for consideration. Petitioners include Michael Summers and Roger Edwards for the FIG; and also Alejandro Betts and Maria Angelica Vernet.
Chile puts forward its annual draft-Resolution calling for sovereignty negotiations before Argentina’s Foreign Minister tells the Committee that; “… 40 years ago, this Committee laid the foundations for the doctrine later reflected in General Assembly resolution 2065 (XX), which establishes that the Malvinas question refers to the dispute between the Argentine Republic and the United Kingdom concerning sovereignty over the Islands, which should be resolved through negotiations, …. (and) that both parties, in the search for a solution, must take into account the interests of the inhabitants of the Malvinas Islands, which therefore excludes the application of the principle of self-determination.
It should be recalled that in 1985 the General Assembly took a clear position in that regard when it rejected two British amendments that aimed to include that principle in the relevant draft resolution. I should like to stress that paragraph 6 of resolution 1514 (XV) states that ‘any attempt aimed at the partial or total disruption of the national unity and the territorial integrity of a country’ – in this case, my country – ‘is incompatible with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations’. Thus, in the question of the Malvinas, the violation through a nineteenth century imperialist act of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of an independent republic, Argentina, recognized by Great Britain itself, makes the principle of territorial integrity take precedence over the principle of self-determination. … In addition, there have been attempts to achieve a presence for the islands and their illegal representatives in international organizations and events, as well as procedures for the extension of international conventions to the disputed area.”
July 1st, the General Assembly of the UN adopts Resolution 58/316 entitled Further Measures for the Revitalization of the Work of the General Assembly in which it is decided that; “.. the item entitled “Question of the Falkland Islands” would remain on the agenda for consideration upon notification by a Member State.”
On the same day, the South Atlantic Fisheries Commission meet in London.
July 5th, the UK recognises the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice as applying “automatically” to all disputes arising after 1st January 1974.
July 28th, the UK rejects Argentina’s statement of June 8th as nothing has changed at the Falklands’ base other than titles; “.. The change in titles to Headquarters British Forces South Atlantic Islands and Commander British Forces South Atlantic Islands reflected changes in administrative structures. …”
September 21st, President Kirchner tells the UN; “… that the question of the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich islands is a special colonial situation which must be resolved through bilateral negotiations between my country and the United Kingdom. … ”
September 30th, the UK responds; “… There can be no negotiations on the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands unless and until such time as the Islanders so wish.”
October 4th, the UN’s Fourth Committee review the work of the Special Committee.
October 26th, a second meeting of the Joint Working Party on mine clearance takes place in London.
December 9th, the South Atlantic Fisheries Commission meet in Buenos Aires.
2005 – January 3rd, Argentina issues its annual press release commemorating their withdrawal in 1833.
A Canadian Commonwealth Parliamentary Association delegation visits the Falklands. At a press conference, delegate Sarmite Bulte states; “If any other country were subject to such economic warfare, the rest of the world would not stay silent. It is time to break that silence.”
In February, a fact-finding team; “ … composed of representatives of the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence and the Department for International Development and Landmine Action, … visited Stanley and the West Falkland settlements of Port Howard and Fox Bay. Landmine Action has indicated that 16,600 mines remain in the Islands, distributed in 101 minefields. The team will submit a report to the United Kingdom Government on its findings.”
Falklands Oil and Gas Ltd commission a major seismic survey of waters south of the Islands.
April 20th, Argentina sends letters of protest to the 25 members of the European Union following the inclusion of the Falkland Islands as a British Overseas Territory in the EU Constitutional Treaty.
“.. The Government of Argentina recalls that the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and surrounding maritime areas are an integral part of the territory of the Argentine Republic and are illegally occupied by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, being the subject of a sovereignty dispute. The inclusion of these territories in part III, title IV, annex II, entitled “Association of the overseas countries and territories”, of the Constitutional Treaty of the European Union in no way affects the sovereignty and jurisdiction of the Argentine Republic over these territories…”
May 2nd, Carlos Menem, former President of Argentina, is critical of the current Government’s approach; “Galtieri lost the war and Kirchner is losing peace .. in spite of the military defeat of 1982 under the responsibility of de facto government presided by General Leopoldo Fortunato Galtieri, Argentina managed to sustain its rights over the Islas Malvinas in the diplomatic field by installing the difference with Great Britain under the so called “sovereignty umbrella”, … we advanced in the search for alternatives to make effective the compliance of the United Nations mandate, which calls for a peaceful and negotiated solution of the dispute between the occupying power, United Kingdom, and Argentina. The EU Constitutional Treaty by including Malvinas among the “Overseas Territories” under tutelage of that regional block ignores the Argentine sovereignty claim .. What should really concern us is the growing and vertiginous international isolation to which this government is leading us with its verbally confrontational and factually debilitating manners.”
In June, speaking to the OAS, Argentina’s Foreign Minister Rafael Bielsa, calls on Britain to open negotiations on ceding the Falklands, and accuses Britain of antagonizing Argentina through unilateral actions.
Argentina’s Chamber of Deputies passes a motion calling for Margaret Thatcher to face trial in an international court for the ‘war crime’ of sinking the Begrano in 1982.
June 2nd, the UK responds to Argentina’s complaints; “.. The inclusion of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, and the British Antarctic Territory, in the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe simply confirms the present position with regard to the status of these British Overseas Territories. These Territories have been included in the Treaty establishing the European Community since the accession of the United Kingdom on 1 January 1973.”
June 10th, Argentina issues its annual press release on its 1829 Decree.
June 15th, the Special Committee meets to consider the decolonization of the Falkland. Petitioners include John Birmingham and Stephen Luxton of the FIG, as well as James Lewis and Luis Gustavo Vernet.
Foreign Minister Bielsa, on behalf of Argentina, tells the Committee; “… The Congress of Argentina is deliberating on some legislative measures addressed to minimize the negative effects to the Argentine interests caused by illegal permits to carry out hydrocarbon-related activities in the disputed area, issued by the illegitimate authorities in the Islands. Furthermore, we could add to the British unilateral actions the attempts by the United Kingdom to try to assert an international presence for the Malvinas Islands as a separate entity from our country and to grant the so called “Island Government” a status which it does not have, and the extension of international conventions to the disputed area…”
Chile introduces its annual draft-Resolution calling for renewed sovereignty negotiations; which is adopted by the Committee.
June 16th, at the behest of Argentina, the Second South Summit of the Group of 77 adopt a Declaration calling for Britain and Argentina to resume negotiations to the dispute which; “ … seriously damages the economic capacities of the Argentine Republic…”
June 27th, at the UN, in a response to a request for views on the implementation of the Zone of Peace and Cooperation in the South Atlantic, Argentina states; “It is important to point out the colonial realities of the Falkland Islands, and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas, which affect the territorial integrity of the Argentine Republic. Despite the efforts made by Argentina in favour of dialogue and the peaceful and definitive solution of the issue of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), its commitment to respect the way of life of the inhabitants of the islands and numerous appeals from the international community for a negotiated settlement, it has not been possible to resume negotiations between the Government of the Argentine Republic and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland directed towards putting an end to the sovereignty dispute. The Argentine Republic considers that a solution to this important issue would help to consolidate stability and cooperation in the South Atlantic on a permanent basis.”
In July, the South Atlantic Fisheries Commission meet in London.
August 26th, the FIG pass new legislation which introduce ‘property rights’ to fisheries and change the licensing system to allow for the issue of fishing licenses lasting for 25 years.
September 14th, addressing the General Assembly, Argentina’s President exhorts the UK to resume negotiations over sovereignty.
September 21st, in response Britain says; “… There can be no negotiations on the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands unless and until such time as the Islanders so wish. The United Kingdom has no doubts about its sovereignty over the Falkland Islands.”
October 11th, the Fourth Committee review the decolonization work of the Special Committee; noting its position regarding the Falkland Islands.
October 27th, Argentina issues a rejection of the FIG’s new licensing regime; “..new measure whereby the UK claimed to assign ownership rights to the fisheries resources in the maritime areas surrounding the Islands.”
“The Argentine Republic and the United Kingdom have not made provision for an agreed fisheries administration within the framework of the South Atlantic Fisheries Commission, and the unilateral character of the protested measure is, furthermore, incompatible with the bilateral arrangements on cooperation for the conservation of fisheries resources and seriously impairs the spirit of cooperation which must prevail within the Commission, as provided by the two Governments in the Joint Declaration of 28 November 1990. Argentina is assessing the impact of this new unilateral measure on cooperation within the South Atlantic Fisheries Commission.”
In its response, Britain reiterates that; “ .. the Falkland Islands Government was entitled to adopt whatever measures it considered necessary to conserve, manage and exploit fish stocks within its waters.”
Nestor Kirchner is returned as President of Argentina for a 2nd term.
November 4th, in Argentina, an Administrative Contentious Appeals Court throws out a compensation claim by Constantino Davidoff saying that it does not have jurisdiction. Based on the events at South Georgia in 1982, Davidoff had claimed for compensation; “.. for damages and losses caused by dependent personnel from the defendant country which impeded him from going ahead with the commercial activities he was involved in.”
November 17th, a general election is held in Stanley for all eight seats on the Legislative Council.
November 30th, Argentina objects to the extension, by the UK, of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction, to the Falklands.
December 1st, the UK rejects Argentina’s complaint regarding fishing licences, reiterating that; “.. the Falkland Islands Government was entitled to adopt whatever measure it considered necessary to conserve, manage, and exploit fish stocks within its waters. ”
December 6th, the South Atlantic Fisheries Commission meet in Buenos Aires. At the meeting, Argentina proposes an agenda which the UK delegation believe exceed the Commission’s mandate as it includes issues subject to the internal licensing regime of the Falkland Islands Government. Argentina’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues a statement; “.. there was no agreement with the British delegation on adopting the agenda proposed by Argentina with the purpose of analysing the South Atlantic Fisheries Commission mandate and how it has been affected by a prolonged list of unilateral British decisions.”
December 12th, Argentina sets conditions on further South Atlantic Fisheries Commission talks, requiring sovereignty to be linked to fisheries conservation. Meetings are suspended; “Argentina stated that the British unilateral measures seriously impaired cooperation in the South Atlantic Fisheries Commission and that it would take legal actions available to it regarding enterprises that exploited fisheries resources in the Argentine exclusive economic zone without appropriate authorization.”
2006 – January 3rd, Argentina issues its annual press release commemorating 1833.
Alan Huckle is appointed as Governor of the Falkland Islands.
February 20th, Argentina detains the fishing vessel, John Cheek, accusing the crew of illegally fishing in Argentine waters, and flying the Falklands flag, which Argentina refuses to recognise.
March 12th, an international workshop, Albatross and Petrels in the South Atlantic: Priorities and Conservation, is hosted in the archipelago.
In April, a population census reveals that there are 2955 people on the Islands, including 477 people present in connection with the military garrison, but excluding military personnel and their families.
April 2nd, President Kirchner, marking the anniversary of Argentina’s invasion of the Falklands – which he describes as a, “a crime committed by a cowardly military dictatorship”; maintains that the Islands; “must be a national objective of all Argentineans, and with dialogue, diplomacy and peace we must recover them..”
Kirchner informs his Ministers that he will abandon the ‘sovereignty umbrella’ agreed by his predecessor, Carlos Menem. Diplomats are instructed to make the Falklands a priority, and to keep the claim prominent. DVD’s expounding Argentina’s claims are provided for presentation by Argentina’s foreign ministry officials to their foreign opposite numbers.
June 5th, responding to a question regarding the South Atlantic Fisheries Commission (SAFC), the British Government explains; “The SAFC has met normally twice a year, usually in July and December, under the “sovereignty umbrella”, with a representative of the Falkland Islands Government present—as part of the UK delegation. The SAFC is usually preceded by a scientific meeting to share data on fish and squid stocks. The last SAFC meeting took place in Buenos Aires in December 2005. However, it proved impossible to reach agreement on the agenda. The Argentine government also cancelled the scientific pre-meeting, as they had done in July 2005, and declined to take part in the customary Research Cruise to assess the state of illex stocks, although data sharing has continued… The Argentines linked the failure to agree the agenda and the cancellation of the scientific meetings to the adoption of a new fisheries management regime by the Falkland Islands Legislative Council on 26 August 2005. This changed the basis of the Islands’ fisheries management system from short term licensing to long-term ownership rights of up to 25 years in duration. The system will come into operation for some stocks on 1 July 2006.
This was a decision for the Falkland Island Government. It was aimed at ensuring the longer-term viability of the fishing industry and conservation of stocks. We fully support the Falkland Islands Government in its activities to develop and conserve its fisheries. The change in licensing regime does not affect the UK’s commitment to co-operate with Argentina within the SAFC (which places no restrictions on the fisheries management regime of either party). We are exploring arrangements for the next meeting of the Commission with the Argentine government.”
June 10th, Argentina issues its annual press release celebrating its Decree of 1829.
June 15th, at the UN, theSpecial Committee commences its annual consideration of the decolonization of the Falklands. Petitioners include Richard Stevens and Richard Davies from the FIG.
Chile introduces its annual draft-Resolution calling for sovereignty negotiations.
Argentina’s Foreign Minister, Jorge Taiana, tells the Committee; “… Paragraph 6 of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, resolution 1514 (XV) of the United Nations General Assembly,… authorizes this Committee to examine colonial questions involving sovereignty disputes.
It should be recalled that the principle of self-determination, enshrined in paragraph 2 of resolution 1514 (XV), is limited by the principle of territorial integrity, which prevails over the former, since paragraph 6 of the above mentioned resolution says: “Any attempt aimed at the partial or total disruption of the national unity and the territorial integrity of a country is incompatible with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.” And in paragraph 7 it adds, as a reaffirmation of the above, that “all States shall observe faithfully and strictly the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the present Declaration on the basis of equality, non-interference in the internal affairs of all States, and respect for the sovereign rights of all peoples and their territorial integrity.”
Therefore, its application would be mistaken in a situation such as that of the Malvinas Islands in which part of the territory of an independent State, the Argentine Republic, has been separated – against the will of its inhabitants – by virtue of an act of force perpetrated by the United Kingdom in 1833,….
The international community has made repeated pronouncements in the General Assembly, producing 10 resolutions on the question of the Malvinas Islands, and this same Committee has expressed itself regarding the question in another 41 resolutions. … I would like to point out that despite my country’s desire to cooperate, the United Kingdom has not ceased to carry out unilateral actions that introduce modifications in the situation while the Islands are undergoing the process recommended in the General Assembly resolutions, contradicting resolution 31/49 of 1 December 1976, the provisional understandings mentioned and the mandate of the international community. The Argentine Government has protested and rejected these alleged British jurisdictional exercises in the area of the dispute. In fact, only in 2005 Argentina had to submit 15 notes of protest to the United Kingdom rejecting illegitimate unilateral acts in the disputed area.”
June 29th, in Buenos Aires, the Congressional Observatory is established to consider how best to gain possession of the Falklands.
July 1st, Argentina rejects the implementation of the new 25 year licensing regime in the Falklands.
The Guardian newspaper reports on the strategy being pursued by Argentina: “Mr Kirchner’s approach represents a marked change in the conciliatory, passive approach that Argentina has been more or less pursuing since the fall of the late dictator General Leopoldo Galtieri in the aftermath of the war. The strategy of trying to woo the islanders reached its height under the presidency of Mr Kirchner’s predecessor, Carlos Menem: Argentinians still cringe over his decision to mail islanders, as a Christmas present, copies of Winnie the Pooh. Cooperation between Argentina, Britain and the Falklands has broken down in various areas: fishing agreements, oil exploration, joint scientific cruises and air links between the Falklands and Latin America … The new mood is reflected in the streets. The Argentinian war cry Las Malvinas son Argentinas (the Falklands are Argentinian) has resurfaced in graffiti and posters round Buenos Aires. The Malvinas are a matter of wounded pride, not over the calamitous end of the war, which is universally dismissed as the last lunatic act of a floundering dictatorship, but over the original British occupation of the islands in 1833.”
July 11th, the deputy chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Rodolfo Terragno, is reported by the official news agency Telam, to have described the British claim that Falkland Islanders’ have the right to self-determination as a “farce”.
July 28th, President Kirchner rejects British ratification of the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels as it extends to the Falklands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and the British Antarctic Territory – but then immediately ratifies the Agreement on behalf of Argentina for those same areas.
In August, the Congressional Observatory publishes a paper entitled, The Fallacy of Self-Determination, picking up on the theme that the population of the Islands were somehow ‘implanted’, and therefore not a ‘peoples’ for the purposes of the UN Charter and its decolonization Resolutions.
September 6th, in London, a special meeting takes place to review the mandate of the South Atlantic Fisheries Commission, created in 1990.
September 20th, at the UN, President Kirchner speaks to the General Assembly expressing his “regret” that Britain refuses to negotiate on the question of sovereignty.
September 27th, The Guardian newspaper reports that a new book is to be distributed to every secondary school pupil in Argentina explaining how the British “illegally” colonized the Falkland Islands.
October 2nd, the UN’s Fourth Committee reviews the work of the Special Committee and its consideration of the Falklands issue. Petitioners include Brazil’s Piragibe Tarrago, speaking on behalf of the MERCOSUR countries, who erroneously states that Resolution 2065 (XX) limits the principle of self-determination to people who are oppressed. The UK reminds the Fourth Committee that its position is well known.
November 2nd, the Joint Working Party on mine clearance meets in Paris.
In Decmber, the Kirchner Government introduces a new education law which requires that the “recovery” of the Falklands be added to the national curriculum to inform; “.. the exercise and construction of the collective memory of the recent history..”
“These educational policies are part of a national policy which fosters the intellectual exercise of approaching the question of Malvinas in its whole range: understanding the history of the usurpation in 1833; knowing and expanding the legitimate Argentine arguments to demand the sovereignty over the South Atlantic; revising the Military Junta’s misguided decision to prosecute the war; paying homage to those who fought in the islands.”
2007 – January, the Washington Post reports that the Argentine Government has issued official complaints concerning the Falkland Islands at a rate one per month during 2006.
January 3rd, in a letter to the UN Secretary-General, Argentina commemorates the events of 1833; “ .. However, Argentina considered the United Kingdom’s refusal to address the sovereignty question incomprehensible, …” Argentina also announces that any further discussions must include negotiations over sovereignty.
January 15th, in its annual response, the UK rejects Argentina’s claims.
In February, Britain proposes a joint commemoration, in honour of the dead on both sides, for the 25th anniversary of the Falklands War. Argentina declines as it sees the UK celebrating a “victory.”
In March, President Kirchner tells the Argentine Congress that the Falklands remain a central issue for his Administration and describes Argentina’s diplomatic actions as “intense.”
March 14th, in Buenos Aires, another special meeting takes place to review the mandate of the South Atlantic Fisheries Commission under the Declaration of 1990. Argentina maintains that; “This Declaration is one of the provisional understandings – under the formula of guaranteeing sovereignty – that exist between Argentina and the United Kingdom, whose principal objective is to contribute, through cooperation in the conservation of fishing resources, to an adequate atmosphere for the renewal of negotiations geared towards the resolution of the sovereignty dispute over the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and surrounding seas through the renewal of bilateral negotiations, fulfilling resolution 2065 (XX) of the United Nations General Assembly and other resolutions of this Organization. However, the United Kingdom, since the very year of the adoption of the Joint Declaration, turned to unilateral measures contrary to the bilateral understandings on cooperation for the conservation of fishing resources in the disputed maritime area and to the mandate of General Assembly resolutions. They defrauded the objectives and goals of the Joint Declaration and of the Commission itself. …”
March 27th, the Kirchner Government announces;“… during the eighth meeting of the Southwest Atlantic Hydrocarbon Commission, held on 27 July 2000, the two parties acknowledged that there were differing interpretations of the area to which this understanding applies. The Argentine Republic considers that the area of cooperation, in accordance with the text of the Joint Declaration and its object and purpose, is the entire maritime area surrounding the Malvinas Islands disputed between Argentina and the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom does not share that interpretation. In acknowledging the diverging views, both Governments agreed that it would be appropriate to take some time to reflect on the issue …. Furthermore, before and during this period of reflection, the United Kingdom has continued to carry out unilateral actions that run counter to the Declaration of 1995, which expressly provided for joint actions by both Governments in the disputed area covered by that instrument. The attitude of the United Kingdom has also failed to contribute to the establishment of a favourable climate for the resumption of negotiations on sovereignty, which the United Nations has repeatedly urged. … therefore there is no sense in continuing the period of reflection, which leads to the conclusion that is not possible to apply the Joint Declaration of 27 September 1995. Therefore, the Argentine Republic considers that provisional agreement to be terminated from the date of the present note”
March 29th, the Energy Secretariat of Argentina issues Resolution 407;”… prohibiting the inclusion in the Oil Company Register of individuals or companies that were – directly or indirectly – owners, shareholders or contractors of, or that maintained profit relationships with: a) companies that develop or have developed hydrocarbon activities on the Argentine continental shelf, without being authorised to carry out hydrocarbon exploration or exploitation by an Argentine authority, …”
In April, Argentine Vice-President Daniel Scioli makes a statement; “The Malvinas are Argentine, they always were, they always will be … Once again, we urge the United Kingdom to heed international calls and resume negotiations in the appropriate manner, through the United Nations”
May 2nd, in an interview with the Clarin newspaper, Hector Bonzo, Captain of the Belgrano in 1982, denies that the sinking of his vessel was a war crime; “ It was an act of war. The acts of those who are at war, like the submarine’s attack, are not a crime … The crime is the war. We were on the front line and suffered the consequences. On April 30, we were authorised to open fire, and if the submarine had surfaced in front of me I would have opened fire with all our 15 guns until it sank.”
May 12th, Baroness Thatcher unveils a commemorative arch in Fareham, Hampshire.
June 17th, the Queen, Tony Blair and Baroness Thatcher join veterans for a remembrance service in the Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel to mark the 25 years since the end of the Falklands War. Lord Parkinson and Prince Edward, attend a similar service in Stanley.
June 21st, the Special Committee listens to petitioners during its annual consideration of the issues surrounding the decolonization of the Falkland Islands. The representatives of the NSGT are Councillors Davies and Hansen. Councillor Davies tells the Committee that the Islanders are “vehemently opposed” to any Resolution calling for negotiations with Argentina as the Islanders alone had the right to make such decisions and to determine their own futures. He adds that; “ .. Argentina’s claim that the islanders were a transplanted people and therefore had no right to determine their own future was nonsense. The Falkland Islands had never been part of Argentina.”
Councillor Hanson informs the Committee that the; “ .. Falkland Islands could be compared to other New World countries, including Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada, and even Argentina, whose current populations consisted of predominantly immigrant European stock. The only significant difference was that there had been no indigenous population to replace in the Falkland Islands as was the case in other places. Like many other families who had settled in the Falklands more than 150 years previously, his family had not only farmed the land and sailed the Falkland waters, it had also served the country as doctors, nurses, politicians, teachers and policemen and contributed greatly to all kinds of craftsmanship needed to make the islands the successful and prosperous place it was at present… “
Grenada’s permanent representative complains that; “ … his Government had invested considerable time and effort in promoting the fundamental principle of the right of self-determination enshrined in the Charter. Article 1 stated that one of the purposes of the United Nations was to develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and the self-determination of peoples. The primary purpose of the work of the Committee was to move countries towards decolonization and self-determination. His delegation was extremely concerned that sovereignty issues were overshadowing the core purpose and function of the Committee.
A number of countries over whose territories sovereignty issues were pending had been able to move from colonization to full independence. It was therefore unclear why the Committee was introducing new constraints to impede the very purpose for which it had been established. If it allowed disputes over sovereignty to block the decolonization process, other new constraints might well be introduced to deny colonies their right to self-determination. It was unclear therefore why dialogue was being sought among two colonial Powers in the case of the Falkland Islands, without the full involvement of the Falkland islanders themselves….
There could be no question of dialogue between the United Kingdom and Argentina over the Territory without the full participation of the Falkland islanders themselves. To exclude them would be to reaffirm the principles of colonization and reject the Charter of the United Nations.”
Petitioner Marcelo Vernet tells the meeting that his great-great-grandfather had been appointed the first political and military commander over the islands in 1829; “ .. as part of a State policy aimed at consolidating ownership and sovereignty in the Patagonian mainland and islands,” and that in 1820; “.. the Argentine Government had initiated a series of Government Acts to establish settlements in the Malvinas.” He adds that by 1833, the Falkland Islands had become; “the Argentine Republic’s strategic enclave in Patagonia.”
Chile introduces its annual draft-Resolution calling for a renewal of sovereignty negotiations in support of which, Argentina’s Foreign Minister tells the Committee; “The military dictatorship that ruled Argentina in 1982 acted behind the Argentine people’s back, departing from the traditional peaceful claim for the Islands. It was a mistaken decision, because the Argentine people always knew that the full exercise of sovereignty over the Islands would be recovered through peaceful and diplomatic dialogue. The United Kingdom has become publicly involved in a series of events of a celebratory and militarist nature that Argentina laments. My country cannot share this spirit, and, quoting President Kirchner’s words, I would like to remind the United Kingdom that, as a powerful country, ‘it may have won a battle, but it will never beat the reason or justice that the Falkland Islands are Argentine and that, through peace, they will be Argentine again.”
Chile’s draft-Resolution is adopted without a vote, after which, in his explanation the Committee Member for Sierra Leone reaffirms his nation’s commitment to respecting the Islanders right to self-determination.
September 25th, President Néstor Kirchner, in a speech to the General Assembly, says; “ .. that the time had come for the United Kingdom to shoulder its responsibility and put an end to an anachronism: the illegal occupation for clearly colonial purposes of territory belonging to another State. His Government rejected the British claim on the establishment of maritime areas surrounding the archipelagos in question, particularly the United Kingdom’s recently divulged intention to make a submission to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf relative to the outer limits of the continental shelf of the Argentine territories.”
October 1st, the British respond with the usual rejection of the Argentine claim and refer to the Islands’ representatives asking the Special Committee; “ …to recognize that they, like any other people, were entitled to exercise the right of self-determination…”
October 5th, the Joint Working Party on mine clearance concludes its work with an exchange of notes.
October 8th, at the UN, the Fourth Committee notes the recommendations of theSpecial Committee in regard to the decolonization of the Falkland Islands.
In November, the UK makes a statement on mine clearance announcing the completion of the feasibility study which has concluded that clearance was possible but would present significant technical challenges and risks.
December 13th, Argentina protests to the EU President of; “.. the attempt to include those parts of the Argentine national territory in the list of territories to which the ‘Association of the Overseas Countries and Territories’ regime provided for in the Treaty of Lisbon – amending the Treaty on European Union.”
2008 – January 3rd, Argentina issues its annual press release on the events of 1833.
In March, members of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee visit the Falkland Islands to inquire into the current situation there. On behalf of the FIG, Councillor Summers informs them that; “ The Falkland Islands Government are happy with UK Government statements on sovereignty over the Falkland Islands going back a number of years now. The current Prime Minister and his predecessor have been very robust in saying that the UK does not doubt the sovereignty and independence of the Falkland Islands, and that there should be no discussion of sovereignty unless the people of the Falklands so wish. That has been a strong, coherent and unwavering message, and in our circumstances the consistency of that message is crucial.”
The British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, meets Cristina Kirchner in Santiago de Chile. An agreement is reached to allow the relatives of Argentine troops killed in the 1982 war to visit the Islands for the official inauguration of a Memorial at the Argentine Cemetery in Darwin.
May 23rd, the ICJ considers the concept of a ‘critical date’, in its judgment on the Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh Case; “The Court recalls that, in the context of a dispute related to sovereignty over land such as the present one, the date upon which the dispute crystallized is of significance. Its significance lies in distinguishing between those acts which should be taken into consideration for the purpose of establishing or ascertaining sovereignty and those acts occurring after such date, “which are in general meaningless for that purpose, having been carried out by a State which, already having claims to assert in a legal dispute, could have taken those actions strictly with the aim of buttressing those claims.”
As the Court explained in the Indonesia/Malaysia case, “it cannot take into consideration acts having taken place after the date on which the dispute between the Parties crystallized unless such acts are a normal continuation of prior acts and are not undertaken for the purpose of improving the legal position of the Party which relies on them”
May 31st, the UK applies for a 10-year extension to its de-mining obligations under the Ottawa Convention. Argentina rejects the UK’s application as an; “.. illegitimate and unilateral act..”
June 12th, in New York, the Special Committee considers the decolonization of the Falkland Islands.
Councillor Robertson, representing the FIG, challenges; “ .. the argument that the dispute was between British colonialism on the one hand and historical claims of Argentine territorial integrity on the other, she noted that the Spanish settlement in the Falkland Islands had been evacuated in 1811, leaving them without any administration. Moreover, the British claim to the Falkland Islands dated back to 1765. Britain had consistently protested Argentine attempts to settle and administer the Falkland Islands, and had not – as was alleged – forcibly expelled the Argentine population in 1833. … It was the profound belief of the people of the Falkland Islands that they were entitled to self-determination, that the claim by Argentina was ill-founded, and that it respected neither modern values nor the principles of the Charter of the United Nations. She urged the Committee to recognize that sovereignty issues did not belong on its agenda, and that sovereignty claims should not supersede the right to self-determination. … In conclusion, she urged the Committee to reconsider whether an anachronistic claim from the 1820s could truly be more valid in the twenty-first century than the rights of the people of the territory affected by that claim, and asked the representatives not to support the draft resolution.”
Chile introduces its annual draft-Resolution calling for sovereignty negotiations between the UK and Argentina in support of which, Argentina’s Foreign Minister tells the Committee that previous negotiations had stalled due to British “reluctance.” He goes on to claim that the Governments of Argentina had maintained an “uninterrupted” stance of protest since 1833 and that the current population of the Falklands, being “transplanted” could never be deemed to be a population subjected to colonial power.
The draft-Resolution is, yet again, adopted without a vote.
Speaking after adoption, the Committee Member of Sierra Leone states that; “ .. Any solution that failed to take into account the aspirations of the islanders would be inconsistent with paragraph 4 of the Millennium Declaration, which recognized peoples’ right to self-determination, and would also run counter to article 73 (b) of the Charter of the United Nations.”
September 23rd, Argentina’s new President, Cristina Kirchner tells the General Assembly that; “.. a member of the Security Council – one that is among the principal nations of the world in the defence of freedom, human rights and democracy – should give concrete proof … that it is truly convinced that it is necessary to end this shame, that of a colonial enclave in the twenty-first century.”
September 29th, the UK responds that; “ .. The Falkland Islands are not a colonial enclave. Britain’s Overseas Territories are British for as long as they want to remain British. The people of the Falkland Islands have chosen to retain their link with Britain.”
October 6th, at the UN, the Fourth Committee, chaired by Argentina’s Ambassador, Jorge Arguello, resumes its annual consideration of the decolonisation process. Brazil’s representative tells the Committee that the United Kingdom took the Falklands by force in 1833; expelled the native population and replaced them with British citizens who can not be classed as a subjugated people.
The UK responds that it has no doubt about its sovereignty in the Falkland Islands and that there can be no negotiations on the matter until such time as; “the islanders so wish.”
October 20th, the Fourth Committee considers a decision by the Special Committee to forward a proposed Resolution for the approval of the General Assembly. Ostensibly in connection with only 11 of the 16 remaining NSGT’s, this Resolution includes a caveat to its reaffirmation of their right to self-determination adding the phrase “and where there is no dispute over sovereignty.”
Britain’s representative proposes an amendment to the text arguing; “.. that, not only was the new language inapplicable to the 11 Territories targeted in the resolution, but that it introduced conditions that could have unexplored ramifications.”
Following further debate; ” … The omnibus text achieved consensus only after (the UK’s) amendment to its second operative paragraph was adopted by a recorded vote of 61 in favour to 40 against, with 47 abstentions. … As action was taken, delegations were clearly split between those that supported the text, which had been approved by consensus in the Special Committee in June, and those that did not. Differences centered over the new wording, which, as Bolivia’s speaker said, acknowledged that there were two guiding principles in the decolonization process – that of self-determination and of territorial integrity … By the terms of the amended resolution, the Assembly would further reaffirm that, in the process of decolonization, there was no alternative to the principle of self-determination, which was also a fundamental human right. ….”
“… the principle was of concern to all the 16 remaining UN listed territories including the Falkland Islands and Gibraltar.” [Picardo 2014]
November 4th, Queen Elizabeth II approves the new Falkland Islands Constitution.
November 10th, Argentina protests; “… against this new unilateral act by the United Kingdom in relation to an integral part of the national territory of the Argentine Republic … The said unilateral act constitutes a new expression of disregard for the resolutions on the question of the Malvinas Islands duly adopted by the General Assembly and the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United Nations. … It also constitutes a new violation of the spirit of the provisional understandings under the sovereignty formula regarding practical aspects of the area in dispute, the purpose of which is to contribute to the creation of a climate conducive to the resumption of the negotiations on sovereignty between the Argentine Republic and the United Kingdom.”
November 28th, the UK is granted its requested extension, until March 1st, 2019, to the deadline under the Ottawa Convention for the elimination of anti-personnel mines. Argentina informs the meeting that it intends to apply for its own extension.
December 3rd, the UK rejects Argentina’s protests regarding the new Constitution; denying that the Falkland Islands Constitution Order 2008 is contrary, either in practice or in spirit, to any aspects of the Joint Statements agreed between Britain and Argentina – or that it contravenes any Resolutions.
December 5th, at the UN, the General Assembly approves Resolution 63/108 which; “ .. reaffirms that, in the process of decolonization, there is no alternative to the principle of self-determination, which is also a fundamental human right, as recognized under the relevant human rights conventions.; ..”
On the same day, Resolution 63/110 is passed. Paragraph 7; “Requests the Special Committee … “(c) To continue to examine the political, economic and social situation in the Non-Self-Governing Territories, and to recommend, as appropriate, to the General Assembly the most suitable steps to be taken to enable the populations of those Territories to exercise their right to self- determination, including independence, ..”
December 18th, the General Assembly approves Resolution 63/163 which; “1. Reaffirms that the universal realization of the right of all peoples, including those under colonial, foreign and alien domination, to self-determination …”
2009 – January 1st, the new Constitution of the Falkland Islands comes into force. Chapter 1 states, “1. Whereas — (a) all peoples have the right to self-determination and by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development and may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources without prejudice to any obligations arising out of international economic cooperation, based upon the principle of mutual benefit and international law; (b) the realisation of the right of self-determination must be promoted and respected in conformity with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations;…”
January 3rd, Argentina issues its annual press release regarding the events of 1833.
March 23rd, Princess Anne visits the Falklands before moving on to South Georgia.
March 28th, the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, says that there is, ” .. nothing to discuss..”, when he and Argentina’s President Cristina Kirchner meet in Chile.
April 1st, in her speech to the Summit of Arab-South American Countries in Qatar, President Cristina Fernandez tells her audience; ” The Questions of the Malvinas and Palestine are but two terrible examples of non-compliance with the rules laid down by international organisations regarding law, and recognition of our countries.” The Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires issues a statement; “The remark is out of place and takes us by surprise. What was clear to me is that Israel is to blame for all the problems of the Arabs. But we did not know that we reached as far as the Falklands.”
April 2nd, Cristina Kirchner, in London for a G20 meeting, calls for sovereignty talks.
April 22nd, Argentina makes an expansive full submission to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS). This includes claims to continental shelf areas off mainland Argentina, the Falkland (Malvinas) Islands, South Georgia Island, the South Sandwich Islands as well as areas in the Weddell Sea off Argentina’s claimed territory in Antarctica. Argentina’s submission notes that a dispute exists with the United Kingdom over the Falkland (Malvinas), South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, however Argentina did not qualify its claims off Antarctic territory.
April 23rd, the Secretary General, in a report on the ‘Implementation of decolonization Resolutions adopted since the declaration of the First and Second International Decades for the Eradication of Colonialism,’ announces the British position; “Some commentators have suggested that the United Kingdom should agree to allow Territories the options for status set out in United Nations General Assembly resolution 1541 (XV).
This identified three options for de-listing (i.e., removing Territories from the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories). These were integration; independence; and free association. As already stated, the United Kingdom policy is not to agree to integration; and nor is there any indication that any of the Territories are seeking this. The United Kingdom’s position on independence has already been set out.
But the concept of free association, as defined by the General Assembly, would mean that the Territory itself would draw up its Constitution free from United Kingdom involvement. The United Kingdom would retain all responsibility for the Territory, but would not be able to ensure that it had the powers necessary to meet its responsibilities for the Territories. This is not a position the United Kingdom is willing to put itself in.
General Assembly resolution 1541 (XV) is not legally binding. Furthermore, the United Kingdom did not vote in favour of the resolution. It believes that the guiding principles for the relationship with the Territory should draw on the Charter of the United Nations. This states, inter alia, that an administering Power shall take due account of the political aspirations of the peoples of its Territories, and assist them in the progressive development of their free political institutions according to the particular circumstances of each Territory and its peoples and their varying stages of advancement. The United Kingdom places the utmost importance on these fundamental principles, which are at the heart of the constitutional review process.
The United Nations Declaration on the Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations (1970), which elaborates the principle of self-determination, also makes clear that there is an option for the peoples of a Territory in addition to those set out in resolution 1541. It says that the establishment of a sovereign and independent State, free association or integration with an independent State or the emergence into any other political status freely determined by a people constitute modes of implementing the right of self-determination by that people’
May 11th, Britain submits its claim to the continental shelf area around the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, to the CLCS, in accordance with the provisions of Article 76 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
May 12th, Argentina protests at the UK submission, “British insistence in pretending to arrogate competence over the Malvinas, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands and adjoining maritime spaces is unacceptable and inadmissible because the exercise of such competence belongs only to the sovereign state of the Argentine Republic.”
June, in Parliament, Government spokesman Chris Bryant says of the Special Committee; “The Government do not consider that any of their Overseas Territories should remain on the UN list.”
June 18th, the Special Committee debates the Falkland Islands at it annual meeting. Councillors Stevens and Robertson represent the Falkland Islands’ Government. Councillor Stevens tells the Committee that; “ .. Far from being an itinerant, transplanted people shipped in by the British, as claimed by Argentina, they had originally hailed from a variety of places, as was attested by their family names, and had remained there of their own free will. Indeed, a high percentage of Falkland Islands families had lived there longer than Argentines in Argentina… ” Councillor Robertson adds; “ .. that she and the other democratically elected members of the Legislative Assembly regretted the Committee’s repeated adoption of a draft resolution that was contrary to the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and contrary to the wishes of the Falkland Islanders. It represented an attempt by one party to the dispute to negotiate away the rights and freedoms of a people and a denial of the principle of self-determination…”
Argentina’s Foreign Minister informs the Committee that the Falkland Islands’ situation; “ .. was unlike any other, as the Committee itself had recognized. By occupying land, which had been under Argentine sovereignty the United Kingdom had violated the political unity and territorial integrity of the Argentine Republic. .. The population had been expelled and replaced with an implanted foreign population which lived in isolation from the mainland. Such a population could never be considered to have been subjugated by a colonial power. In fact, it was both the instrument and the result of an act of usurpation by a colonial power. The United Kingdom had confirmed the British nationality of the islands’ population with the British Nationality Act of 1983. To claim that the principle of self-determination should be applied to such people would be a flagrant misrepresentation of logic, justice and law. …”
Chile introduces its usual draft-Resolution calling for negotiations on the issue of sovereignty to take place.
Speaking as Committee members, Russia says that Britain and Argentina should find a solution acceptable to both countries through bilateral negotiations. Sierra Leone calls for the Islanders to be allowed to exercise their right to self-determination while China says that territorial disputes should be resolved through peaceful negotiation. St. Lucia asserts that there should be consistency of action with regard to matters of self-determination.
In September, delegates from the Falkland Islands attend the World Summit on Fishing Sustainability, in Spain. Argentina protests by walking out of the first meeting, and removing the Falkland’s delegates flags and nameplates. Spain apologises to Argentina.
September 23rd, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner addresses the General Assembly in New York and restates her country’s claim to the Falklands archipelago. She complains that a “colonial enclave” persists without the possibility of addressing the question of sovereignty with the UK.
September 25th, in response Britain reaffirms its commitment to the principle of self-determination.
In October, the UK signs a contract with a private company for the clearance of 4 mined areas.
October 3rd, a Memorial at the Argentine cemetery in Darwin, is inaugurated. No Argentine officials accompany the next-of-kin who attend.
October 5th, the Fourth Committee of the United Nations resumes its annual consideration of decolonisation.
In the speeches, José Luis Cancela, speaking on behalf of MERCOSUR, says that self-determination is the fair way of decolonizing those territories in which there existed a “people” subjected to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation. However, decolonization and self-determination were “not synonyms”. A case in point was the Falkland Islands, where there is no such “people”, but rather the disruption of the national unity and territorial integrity of the Argentine Republic. He goes on to say that the Falkland Islands are a “colonialterritory” with no colonized population.
December 1st, the European Union’s Treaty of Lisbon comes into force, confirming, in the case of the Falkland Islands; “ .. the Territory’s association with the European Union in accordance with part four of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, specifically articles 198 to 204;..”
Argentina rejects the inclusion of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, and what it refers to as the Argentine Antarctic Sector, in the list of territories annexed to the Treaty of Lisbon.
December 4th, Argentina applies for an extension to its obligation for mine clearance on the Falklands archipelago under the Ottawa Convention. In granting the extension, the Conference notes that while Argentina had put forward a plan, it did not actually exercise territorial control over the land to be de-mined.
December 9th, Argentina enacts law 26.552 which places the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, the South Sandwich Islands, and the British Antarctic Territories within the Province of Tierra del Fuego.
Britain sends a note verbale to the Argentine charge d’affaires in London outlining the UK’s rejection of this new law.